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U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy ‘as dangerous’ as NATO expansion in Europe, says China Vice Foreign Minister


The U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy and the creation of teams such as the Quad had been “as dangerous” as NATO’s eastward expansion in Europe, a prime Chinese official has stated.

The Ukraine crisis, Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng advised a discussion board in Beijing on Saturday, “provides a mirror for us to observe the situation in the Asia-Pacific” and the area “faces two opposite choices: should we build an open and inclusive family for win-win cooperation or go for small blocs based on the Cold War mentality and group confrontation?”

Chinese officers have blamed NATO’s expansion for triggering the disaster in Ukraine. China, like India, has abstained from UN resolutions concentrating on Russia. Beijing has, nevertheless, gone additional by blaming the U.S. and NATO for the disaster and calling for Russia’s “legitimate security concerns” to be addressed.

If there have been some broad similarities in the responses of China and India to Ukraine — from abstaining on the UN to calling for diplomacy and specializing in the evacuations of their nationals — one hanging distinction has been in China drawing a hyperlink between NATO’s actions in Europe and people of the U.S. and its companions and allies in Asia. 

Mr. Le is a former Ambassador to India and is tipped by some observers in Beijing to develop into China’s subsequent Foreign Minister or a key determine in the overseas coverage institution following the once-in-five-year Party Congress set for November this 12 months. The present Foreign Minister Wang Yi is anticipated to finish his time period in March subsequent 12 months when the Parliament or National People’s Congress (NPC) will appoint a brand new Premier and Cabinet Ministers.

In his speech, Mr. Le in contrast NATO’s actions in Europe — which many observers in Beijing have argued justified Russia’s invasion, though China’s authorities has not explicitly stated so — to these of the U.S. in Asia and warned {that a} disaster might observe in the area. 

“No country should pursue its so-called absolute security at the expense of other countries’ security. Otherwise, as the proverb goes, ‘One who tries to blow out other’s oil lamp will get his beard on fire.’ We must respect each other and not wantonly interfere in others’ internal affairs….. Imposition or interference in others’ internal affairs should be rejected, and there is no need for ‘saviours’ or ‘lecturers,’” he stated. 

“Going against the trend to pursue the Indo-Pacific strategy, provoke trouble, put together closed and exclusive small circles or groups, and get the region off course toward fragmentation and bloc-based division is as dangerous as the NATO strategy of eastward expansion in Europe,” Mr. Le continued. “If allowed to go on unchecked, it would bring unimaginable consequences, and ultimately push the Asia-Pacific over the edge of an abyss.”

China’s Foreign Minister made an identical level earlier this month and explicitly talked about the U.S., Australia, India, Japan Quad as a key aspect of that strategy. He equated the Quad with the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance involving the Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the U.S. and U.Okay. and the AUKUS (Australia-U.Okay.-U.S.) defence pact. 

“The U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy…. talks multilateralism but in reality creates exclusive clubs,” Mr. Wang stated through the NPC. “It claims international rules but in reality is setting and imposing rules suiting itself and its acolytes…..From strengthening the Five Eyes and peddling the Quad to putting together the AUKUS security partnership and tightening bilateral military alliances, the U.S. is staging a ‘5432’ posture in the Asia Pacific. The real goal for the Indo-Pacific strategy is to establish an Indo-Pacific version of NATO.” 

The Quad’s members have rejected such characterisations of the grouping, stating its broad-based cooperation, together with on vaccines and provide chains. 

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar final month stated “there are interested parties who advance that kind of analogies”. “I would urge you not to slip into that lazy analogy of an Asian-NATO,” he stated, stating India was not a treaty ally of the U.S. “We are not a treaty ally. It doesn’t have a treaty, a structure, a secretariat, it’s a kind of 21st century way of responding to a more diversified, dispersed world.” 

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